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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Good Things About Ugly Days

No one likes a bad day:
  • The day when you get your first traffic ticket and ruin your clean streak.
  • The day when you had big plans, but instead someone gets sick and you end up cancelling everything to tend to them and take them to the doctor, worrying and fretting because the symptoms are never something "normal."
  • The day you're running late from beginning to end, even though you had the best intentions of really being on top of things.
  • The day you realize someone is hurt or offended or mad with you because, truthfully, you blew it.
  • The day when you get terrible and unexpected news that just almost knocks you off your feet and takes your breath away. 
  • The day when you discover that something you thought was going so well is in fact going quite terribly, and now you have your work cut out for you to get things back in order.
  • On and on and on I could go.
Have you had a no good, terrible, horrible day recently? Or maybe just one extremely painful blemish on an otherwise perfectly good day that somehow drained all the good out and left you feeling defeated and snowed under?

It didn't sound especially encouraging to me this morning when I read these words in Ecclesiastes, but the more I meditated on them, the more hope I managed to wring from them:

In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one as 
well as the other...
Ecclesiastes 7:14

Difficult days certainly don't lend themselves to celebration, but they do give us reason to carefully consider what God may be up to. Oh, at the time we may be too swamped with the work and pain and frustration and regret of it all to really notice what God is doing. But it's always a good idea to at least look back and see if we can notice the hand of God intervening on our especially no good, horrible, bad day.

We may see that God used our terrible day to:
  • intentionally slow us down so we would seek Him.
  • cause us to address matters we had previously avoided.
  • put particular people in our path we would not otherwise have encountered.
  • sit us down so we can get some much needed rest, physically or emotionally.
  • force us to resolve unfinished business.
  • draw our attention to something He is doing in someone else's life.
  • discipline us because we've fallen into ungodly habits that are hurting us or others.
I take great comfort in knowing that God has purpose for everything He allows to come into my life.  He causes all things to work together for good in my life. That doesn't mean He makes everything turn out in a way that makes me jump up and down in glee. But it means He is constantly at work, on the good days and the bad, to make me more like Jesus, to refine me.

So the next time you experience one of those no good, horrible, terrible, very bad days, just remember that God is still up to some good in your life. He has appointed this day. This is the day (even if it feels like an especially ugly one at the time) that God has made for you, and you can rejoice and be glad in it!


  1. Ugh. We've had to deal with one bad thing after another, lately. We had almost 24 hours of a good day, but just got some news that has us spinning right now. We sure could use a break from all of this mess.

    Good timing with your post.

  2. Thank you so much for this encouragement. My last week has been very rough spending most of the week in the hospital because our sweet baby wants to arrive into this world way too early. It gets lonely in this hospital room....thank you for your encouragement.

  3. Thanks, Kay. I had a horrible WEEK lately and would have really liked to have been reminded of your good words then. :)

  4. Even though I am several days late in reading this post, the Lord's timing is perfect. I had a horse accident yesterday and I have been in terrible pain from a bruised and broken body today. SO needed to read these words tonight. Thank you, friend, for the great reminder.


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